President Trump meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on July 16. (Photo: Screen capture/C-SPAN)
(CNSNews.com) – “To me, the most important issue is the nuclear issue,” President Donald Trump told Fox News’s Sean Hannity following his joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Too bad reporters want to talk about collusion, he said:
“I think it’s a shame. We’re talking about nuclear proliferation, we’re talking about Syria and humanitarian aid, we’re talking about all of these different things, and we get questions on the witch hunt. And I don’t think the people out in the country buy it, but the reporters like to give it a shot. I thought that president Putin was very, very strong.”
Trump noted that both he and Putin agreed, “There is no collusion whatsoever.” And the Russians “have no information on Trump,” he added. At both the news conference and with Hannity, Trump said if Russia did have compromising information about him, “it would have been out. They said it’s nonsense,” Trump told Hannity.
At the news conference in Helsinki, Putin was asked if he had compromising material on Trump. Putin did not say yes or no. Instead, he said he didn’t even know Trump was in Russia in 2013 — when, according to the salacious Steele dossier, Trump consorted with prostitutes.
Putin told reporters, “Do you think that we try to collect compromising material on each and every” businessman who comes to Russia? “It’s difficult to imagine an utter nonsense of a bigger scale than this,” Putin said. “Please, just disregard these issues and don’t think about this anymore again,” Putin added.
Trump told Hannity he had a “good” one-on-one meeting with Putin, where they discussed “many, many things,” including nuclear proliferation, which is “the most important issue.”
I know President Obama said global warming is our biggest problem, and I would say that no, it’s nuclear warming is our biggest problem by a factor of about 5 million. And the nuclear problem, we have to make sure, we have to be very careful. And, you know, if you look at Russia and the United States, that’s 90 percent of the nuclear weapons. And we have to do something and work with other countries.
And he also said he wants to be very helpful with North Korea. We’re doing well with North Korea. We have time. There’s no rush. You know, it’s been going on for many years, but we’re doing very well. As you know, we got our hostages back. There’s been no testing. There’s been no nuclear explosions…There’s been no rockets going over Japan, no missiles going over Japan. And it’s now been nine months, and the relationship is very good. You saw the nice letter he wrote. And so I think a lot of good things are happening, but President Putin is very much into making that all happen.
In a tweet on Monday night, the president reacted to the furious criticism of his performance in Russia, where he appeared to side with Putin on the issue of election interference.
“As I said today and many times before, ‘I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people.’ However, I also recognize that in order to build a brighter future, we cannot exclusively focus on the past – as the world’s two largest nuclear powers, we must get along!” Trump tweeted.
Earlier, at the news conference, Trump was asked, “who do you believe” when it comes to election interference — Russia or the U.S. intelligence community?
Trump said he wonders why the FBI never examined the DNC computer server: “All I can do is ask the question,” he said. “My people came to me, Dan Coates came to me and some others, they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin; he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be. But I really do want to see the server.”
Trump also said “it’s a disgrace” that Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 emails have disappeared. “I think in Russia they wouldn’t be gone so easily.”
“So I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”
Trump also praised Putin’s “incredible offer” to have members of the special counsel’s team go to Russia to “work with their investigators” on the 12 Russian intelligence officers indicted by the Justice Department for hacking into the DNC computers.
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